Asura Blade: Sword of Dynasty

STORY:  In a post-apocalyptic world where fantasy and technology are seen side by side with each other, legends tell of a mystical and ancient weapon known only as the "Sword of Dynasty", which is said to hold the strongest power in existence and that it can easily grant its wielder any wish they so desire. It is said that the Sword of Dynasty has fallen into the hands of a cruel and ruthless fighting warlord known only as S. Geist and that he seeks to gain full control over the world by releasing an ancient sealed beast known only as the Earth Dragon so that he can harness its tremendous yet terrible power and become an unstoppable force. Eight warriors have set out to find the Sword of Dynasty for their own personal reasons, having no idea that their paths will cross with each other and that their own battles will determine the fate of the world itself.

Asura Blade's character selection screen... Hayato?

ABOUTAsura Blade: Sword of Dynasty is a 1998 2D fighting game developed and published by Fuuki and released exclusively in Japan arcades. Asura Blade is the first 2D fighting game project made by Kyoto-based developers, Fuuki, (and would also be one of their last) during the very short period of time when Fuuki made arcade games. A sequel to Asura Blade called Asura Buster: Eternal Warriors was released in the year 2000 and added 8 characters to the roster. These are the only two video games ever developed by Fuuki.

Kaiser Knuckle / Global Champion select screen.

Asura Blade features 8 playable characters and 2 bosses (playable with the use of a cheat code). The roster is made up of a colorful cast of sword-users and martial artists, as well as some other bizarre designs including a small girl (Alice) who can summon skeletons and the undead to attack her opponents, and a large robot-golem (Taros) who can transform various parts of its body into weapons.

The vibrant 2D character sprites are stylized similarly to Capcom fighters from the era, such as Darkstalkers or Street Fighter Alpha 3, and have an "anime" look about them. To their credit, the characters of Asura Blade look pretty charismatic and impressive onscreen. The hand-drawn 2D environments are equally impressive and set the tone of the post-apocalyptic world (although there aren't a great variety of stages compared to other modern fighting games).


Creepy little girl who sends skeletons after you.

Asura Blade plays similarly to other traditional 2D fighting games of the era. Characters have access to a variety of normal attacks as well as strong, medium, and weak versions of their special moves. The game features launcher attacks which makes air-combos possible, similar to Marvel Vs. Capcom or Guilty Gear X. Although the combo system feels most similar to the chain system of Fatal Fury 3 or Real Bout Fatal Fury. Like most fighting games from the time period, characters fill up their super meter (called the "Magic Gauge") which up by performing attacks or being hit.

All characters can perform EX super moves when the Magic Gauge is at MAX, which cost half of their super meter
another comparable mechanic to Capcom's Darkstalkers series. Finally, characters can "throw" their main weapon at the opponent by hitting all 3 buttons at once. Similar to SNK's Samurai Shodown series, characters will have different animations and attacks when they are fighting unarmed. However, characters in Asura Blade have more subtle differences when fighting unarmed than in SamSho. Characters can retrieve their weapon from the ground by hitting an attack button. 


Curfue with the cheap laser cannon spam.

For a 1998 fighting game, however, certain aspects of Asura Blade seem incomplete and not quite "on par" with the current gen in terms of content. For one, Arcade mode doesn't feature individual character endings. The Arcade mode ending is exactly the same for every character in the game. After battling against every character in the game in Arcade mode, your character will fight an invisible "shadow" version of themselves before moving onto the 2 bosses, Curfue and S. Geist.


Page Updated: December 6th, 2022
Developer(s): Fuuki
Publisher(s): Fuuki
Platform(s): Arcade
Designer(s): Y. Takahashi    Producer
K. Matsusaka, S. Katsumiya   Planners
Artwork By: K. Matsusaka, Y. Kawanabe, S. Katsumiya, N. Miyauchi
Release Date(s): December 4th, 1998 
Characters Yashaou, Rose Mary, Goat, Alice, Lightning, Taros, Zam-B, Footee, Curfue, S. Geist

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Related Games: Guilty Gear, Galaxy Fight, Street Fighter Alpha 3, Marvel Vs. Capcom, Star Gladiator, Fatal Fury 3, Real Bout Fatal Fury, World Heroes 2 Jet, Fighter's History, Fighter's History Dynamite, Darkstalkers, Darkstalkers 2, Darkstalkers 3, Samurai Shodown IV, Last Blade, Last Blade 2, Bushido Blade 2, Soul Calibur, JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Heritage for the Future, Daraku Tenshi: The Fallen Angels, Breakers Revenge, Golden Axe: The Duel, Kaiser Knuckle, Martial Champion, Martial Masters, Groove On Fight, Galaxy Fight, Waku Waku 7

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Final Words:

If you had never heard of and/or never played Asura Blade: Sword of Dynasty in the late 1990's... join the club. Another obscure Japan-only 2D fighting game, Asura Blade was one of those extremely rare arcade fighting games that few overseas got a chance to play, since the game never saw an official worldwide (or even home version) release. In fact, Asura Blade became increasingly rare as time went on... as arcade boards and arcade cabinets were few and far between.

Asura Blade has comparable gameplay design and visual elements to Capcom's Vampire Savior and Street Fighter Alpha series, as well as SNK's Samurai Shodown. The game's character designs, charming sprites, unique animation, and colorful stages were at least "competitive" with other 2D fighters of the era.

Gameplay-wise, Asura Blade looks / feels smooth and is fairly fun to play. The animation style and cool-looking super moves reminds me most of Capcom's JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Heritage for the Future. While cool to look at, Asura Blade has some dull edges and also suffers from a very unbalanced roster, with characters like Goat, Footee, and Curfue having clear advantages over the rest of the cast.

For 2D fighting game historians, Asura Blade and its sequel Asura Buster are certainly worth a look if you have the means to try them out SOMETIME. Interestingly, but perhaps disappointingly, Asura Blade and Asura Buster happen to be the only two games ever created by the developer, Fuuki.
~TFG Webmaster | @Fighters_Gen

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